YEAST/FUNGAL OVERGROWTH (Y/FO)
I’ve included a lot of information in this post but as I’ve learned with lyme & coinfections (lyme & co) “context is king”. So I wanted to share everything I have learned from very knowledgeable and experienced online sources who have generously shared what they knew. As always, not all information applies to everyone but hope you find what you need.
Instead of simply providing links for you to read, I consolidated what I’ve learned and placed it within a lyme & co context so that it can be most useful for us. Hopefully, this is my way of “paying it forward” to help others and hopefully prevent them from a lot of frustration, wasted time and cumulative problems that mount as we desperately search for answers.Good description of Y/FO
This is a great info source for Y/FO and is also where I learned a lot of what I know: www.holistichelp.net/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-candida-you-may-not-know/Understanding yeast and fungal overgrowth
We have yeast and bacteria all over and within our bodies. Problems arise when this microbiome gets out of balance. The good and bad bacteria in our guts can get out of balance and give Y/F a chance to proliferate.
Y/F can get into your organs—research suggests many cancers are caused by fungus. Y/FO creates a very acidic environment as well that supports other pathogens and other illnesses. Heavy metals can also create an acidic environments and can be a catalyst in creating Y/FO.
Many symptoms of Y/FO overlap with lyme & co symptoms so they’re hard to isolate. Due to a lack of education and training regarding Y/FO, MDs (and even NDs) often underestimate how much the average person can be struggling with Y/FO as it’s mainly understood as challenging only to HIV/AIDs patients whose immune systems are non-functional.
The obvious symptoms anyone can suffer are often missed and many medical professionals are too reliant upon inaccurate testing for Y/FO, and are reluctant to prescribe antifungals, and when they do they don’t really understand options available for treatment.
NDs are usually more well-versed in symptomology and various treatments but are still not well-informed. So it’s essential that you educate yourself—and you can learn what you need to know and do most of the Y/FO treatment on your own and learn how to engage your MD/ND for very specific purposes (noted below).
There are two types of Y/FO overgrowth, each requiring a specific treatment approach—“local” and “systemic”. There are also two stages of addressing Y/FO, each requiring a specific protocol—“treatment” and “prevention/maintenance”.What is a local Y/FO problem? Symptoms of Y/FO originating from gut (local)
—many of these symptoms can be resolved simply by treating the gut with a local antifungal):
Symptoms of Y/F growth out of gut and into other parts of body
- distended/bloated belly
- gurgling/noisy digestion
- cravings for sugar/simple carbs (high glycemic foods like rice, potatoes, white bread)
- leaky gut (see below)
- alcohol sensitivity to a small amount and/or prone to significant hangovers
In order to resolve these symptoms the root cause must be addressed, which is usually overgrowth in the gut:
Symptoms of Y/FO on the skin
- throat ache (sensitivity, hoarseness or even laryngitis)
- ear ache or increased ear symptoms if you lie on one side for a good part of your sleep (builds up heat/moisture in the ear)
- crackling sound in ears (similar to water logged ears, having trouble drying out ears)
- dizzy spells (even while lying down or turning over in bed—could be from Y/F growing in inner ear disrupting balance)
- eye pain (sometimes this can be like stabbing pain in the eyes)
- blurred vision (sometimes worse when waking up in the AM, other vision changes like loss of peripheral vision)
- floaters that are intermittent and not associated with a detached retinae (you should have floaters checked out by an ophthalmologist initially, but this is a common Y/FO symptom)
- thrush in mouth
- white/yellow coating on tongue
- white pockets and redness at the back of the mouth/on tonsils/at top of the throat
- sweet taste in mouth (particularly in the AM)
- jaw or tooth pain (can be related to sinus pain caused by Y/FO in the sinus cavity)
- post-nasal drip and a consistently snotty nose
- sinus pain in face/headache (sinuses extend from the space above your eyebrows down to the space below your eyes and a sinus infection—bacterial or fungal—can result in severe facial pain
- pressure headaches
- hangover-type headaches
There are other Y/F infections that can be transmitted skin-to-skin like ringworm but for our purposes we are interested in mainly growth that originates from within the body and grows out of the body and manifests itself into skin problems. In order to solve the symptoms on the skin it is necessary to address the root cause, usually in the gut:
What is a systemic Y/FO problem?
- raw, sensitive skin on face, might be itchy—particularly around mouth, nose, eyes, scalp
- “rash” on face/scalp/chest/arms/back – small red bumps or cysts that look like acne but isn’t, might itch, might feel tickly at night, doesn’t respond to antibiotics
- flaking skin (particularly around mouth/nose/eyes) also looks like dry skin flaking off but it’s actually Y/F/biofilm growing out of the body and onto the face and when it hits air it dies and turns waxy or crepey (yeast can also be growing out of other openings in the body – vagina, anus, bellybutton, nipples)
- when “rash” is exposed to the sun the yeast/fungus/biofilm dies giving off a chemical-like odor
- overly sensitive skin throughout but might not look different to the eye (particularly the chest/back/arms/scalp)—Y/FO grows and creates sensitivity by damaging the skin, clothes or towels or bed linens feel like you’re rubbing sandpaper on your skin
- “rashes” growing within the folds of the skin or other dark, damp, warm areas (jock itch, arm pits, under breasts or other skin folds)—often have a “yeasty” odor
Many of these symptoms are caused by a root Y/FO overgrowth occurring within the gut which must be addressed in order to affect these symptoms—research now proves the gut-brain link by blood vessels that connect the two and it is assumed the toxins in the gut also reach the brain, and leaky gut can also cause Y/FO and/or associated toxins to travel throughout the body:
How does Y/FO occur?
- Food sensitivities/allergies
- brain fog/heavy brain
- cognitive issues – memory loss or word loss
- muscle aches/weakness/heaviness
- joint aches/pain/weakness
- weak or sensitive nail beds, ridges, fragile (sometimes the nail bed can show as red, agitated and uneven or pull away under the nail)
- nail fungus----not always indicative of a systemic problem
- sensitivity to natural ingredients in particular areas of the body—for instance, when using natural deodorants on armpits people who have a Y/FO issue can create a yeasty rash (the giveaway is a yeasty odor) on the skin since it’s an area that is warm and moist—a perfect breeding ground for Y/FO
Several situations can cause overgrowth in the gut, which is where most Y/FO originates. The result is an imbalance of gut flora that reduces the good bacteria (which keeps Y/F in balance), allowing the Y/F to proliferate. When the Y/F start growing (which can occur within hours) they can create mycotoxins (like ethanol and acetaldehyde—which is what causes the gas, bloating, cramps, gurgling, headaches and brain fog).
Alcoholics often have beer bellies—this is because they literally have a little microbrewery in their bellies. The yeast feed on sugars and sugars your body creates in digestion (from alcohols or simple carb foods that turn to sugars very quickly).
If left untreated the Y/F can start to feed on anything.
The Y/F can also start growing through the small and large intestines (and out the anal
opening, causing itch and agitating the sensitive skin around it) and/or up the throat and into the mouth and head.
Y/F can also enter the blood stream through the mucosal lining of the gut and proliferate throughout the body—studies have found Y/F colonies in the heart, lungs, everywhere. A general overgrowth is not uncommon for people who aren’t taking antibiotics properly and/or also have a weakened immune system, exacerbated by a poor diet. Although very rare, Y/F can overwhelm the entire body.Oral antibiotics
kills good bacteria along with the bad—some believe that even one dose can kill most of the bacteria in the gut.
[list]*Many, many people are on antibiotic therapies without Y/FO problems but for most, the risk lies in taking antibiotics incorrectly and unfortunately most mainstream medical doctors do not inform patients how to take antibiotics; Y/FO develops and they don’t even recognize the symptoms or realize how much of a problem Y/FO can create that undermines the immune system’s function and the treatment itself.
- It’s unwise to take any antibiotics for any period of time without also taking a good, fresh, multi-strained probiotic—100 billion bacteria doses are advised.
- If you have a history of Y/FO, it’s best to preempt a recurring overgrowth by incorporating an antifungal Rx.
Since we also take herbal tinctures
by mouth, Y/FO can occur due to the alcohol base of the tinctures but the antibacterial function of the herbs can also kill good bacteria, albeit on a lesser scale—it’s understood that since whole plant components are used in herbs your body has an easier time metabolizing them.
A bacterial infection
in the gut can produce an environment where the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria. Since the good bacteria do a lot to keep Y/F in balance, an overgrowth can occur. Birth control pills and other hormone-altering drugs
can disrupt the gut/vaginal flora and can cause Y/FO.
A sugary or high simple carb diet
gives Y/F food to grow and flourish.Alcoholics
can also be creating an optimal environment for Y/FO. In fact, some alcoholics who have failed all other treatment programs have been able to recover simply by addressing their Y/FO. The yeast DEMANDS more sugar (alcohol) to feed on and the cravings literally take over the brain with a chemical dependency and the yeast toxins keep the brain fogged and confused and the body in dis-ease.
And overall digestive dysfunction
: Gut dysbiosis and trouble digesting food properly can be caused by low digestive acids and enzymes, which gives pathogens an opportunity to flourish. The root cause of this can be lyme & co – see this great article about
“bell’s palsy of the gut”, which is what you think it is—a paralyzation of the digestive organs. www.lymenet.de/literatur/vtsherr_gut.htm
I had a lot of trouble eating foods—anything—whether it was a food on my sensitive list or not. So it became evident that it wasn't always an issue with the food itself but I was having mechanical trouble with the digestive process.
- So, one idea is to experiment to see if you are producing enough digestive acids. When you eat, the pancreas is signaled by the stomach to produce bile, which triggers stomach acids. Without the acids, you can't effectively digest food and it is painful.
- The symptoms of low stomach acids can be very similar to symptoms of too much acid (pain, indigestion, acid reflux). Far too often, MDs don’t check first which condition they’re dealing with and prescribe an acid reducer, exacerbating the issue.
- A simple acid challenge can give you a lot of info: purchase a small bottle of hydrochloric acid (HCl) capsules (w/ pepsin). On Day 1 take one capsule about
30 minutes before each meal. If you do not have any acid reflux-type responses, on Day 2 double it, and so on, titrating up each day until you do. Then start stepping the doses down backwards, taking one fewer capsule at each meal. This should help recalibrate or trigger your digestive process to produce the acids required. If not, try challenging again and/or talk w/ a gastroenterologist.What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut is probably the most serious problem Y/FO can create other than total-body infection, in part because:
- it can interfere with the immune system’s function and compromise treatment due to the damage created that obstructs absorption of everything we put in our mouths (foods and medication);
- it can be the most difficult part of the body to heal;
- and it is so very common for people to develop and not know it (and the mainstream medical community, while usually well-intended, typically overlook leaky gut as a cause for general IBS, SIBO, gastritis, Chron’s and a lot of other digestive diseases/disorders.) Damage is usually caused by an outside influence—most people are not born with a damaged gut.
..........Glycophosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff
..........Quote from Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member “rowing mom”:
“I personally believe that pesticides are largely to blame for the decrease in species and numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut and the prevalence of chronic disease. The importance of these bacteria on the function of the immune system is much greater than once suspected.”
If Y/FO is left unaddressed long enough, yeast can transition into a hyphae form, which can grow roots into the mucosal lining of the gut, essentially creating holes and damaging the gut. Since 70% of our immune system IS our gut, this can trigger multiple problems. Undigested food, fecal matter, toxins, bacteria and Y/F can seep through this damage and enter the blood stream.
The immune system does not recognize this foreign debris that is not supposed to be in the blood and reacts by creating antibodies to it. Eventually, this becomes an “autoimmune” response and creates sensitivities, allergies and other autoimmune reactions to the food you eat.
It’s assumed that mucosal damage can also be caused by gluten (celiac’s disease), chemicals like glycophosate, some suspect GMO foods are confusing the digestive system and/or creating damage, and people can have genetic predisposition to a weak mucosal lining.
You can heal a leaky gut rather simply but it requires diligence and often takes a LONG TIME. The process by which the mucosal lining heals is the same regardless of the cause of the damage. Diet restrictions in the beginning are an absolute requirement that cannot be compromised (no sugar/simple carbs—simple carbs no simple carbs like potatoes and white rice/bread/pasta that turn to sugar very quickly—yeast feeds on sugar; and at first no fruits or legumes or grains which are mostly compromised due to)—basically a modified paleo diet is recommended.
There are stool tests that help determine if you have leaky gut—like Doctor’s Data. And, you will need to refrain from eating the foods that your food allergy tests indicate sensitivities to. Not forever but until your immune system isn't as reactive to them—which will happen after you heal your gut. You can start the dietary focus now without having any other information from a doctor or tests.
There are products on the market that help heal the gut—
- Simple (organic, non-GMO) “inner-fillet” aloe vera juice is a little tart-tasting but VERY healing and soothing—drink 1 tablespoon at a time a couple of times throughout the day or drink ½ cup in the evening before your probiotic
- A very high quality, fresh probiotic is required that has as many varied strains as you can find. Take at least 100 billion per day. You can find probiotics at a health food store in the refrigerated section—Garden of Life is a good brand. Your digestive tract goes into a whole other production mode at night so take your probiotic before going to bed to allow it all night long to do its thing.Quote from Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member “Georgia Hunter”:
"Saccharomyces has the highest ergosterol levels of any of the yeasts. This means they'll be the first to die off when we use most antifungal agents. Florastor needs to be supplemented if an antifungal protocol is in place."
- Amino acids and proteins and digestive enzymes would also be helpful with meals.
- NDs, Nutritionists and/or functional gastroenterologists might be able to recommend supplements like a product called Intestinal Repair Complex from BioGenesis for healing.
- Bone broth is an excellent rebuilding food:Quote from Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member “Garden Peace”:
“Make sure the bones are from animals raised on a species appropriate diet. The cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" has a lot of good things you can do to help your digestion problems. My digestive system improved quite a bit once I started using some of the techniques I learned from it. I soak legumes and nuts before eating them. I put the nuts in my food drier after soaking them so they will last longer.”
*And once you’ve successfully dealt with the overgrowth, fermented foods are even more beneficial than probiotics (many people w/ Y/FO don’t react well to fermented foods so best to wait and incorporate them as soon as you can).Can you test for Y/FO?
There are saliva, blood and stool (fecal sample) serology tests available that can tell you which Y/F strain you have but these are often inaccurate—they might indicate whether or not Y/F is out of balance enough to cause your immune system to create antibodies, but likely won’t tell you accurately how bad the problem is or where it is. Since these are serology tests they look for antibodies created to the Y/F found.
I don’t think tests are always necessary from a “do I have Y/FO?” perspective—I think symptoms communicate this better than tests do. Sometimes MDs will order tests for insurance purposes and the stool test can offer information about
what remedies might be more effective for you. Saliva test
– since Y/FO in the mouth generally originates in the gut the saliva test might help indicate what is going on in the gut—but not always.Blood test
—might tell you about
a systemic problem if antibodies are found in the blood. Stool test
provides the most information but is also not always accurate. I had chronic Y/FO yet my blood test was negative and my stool tests showed just a slight imbalance. However, stool tests like Doctor’s Data can be quite beneficial because it indicates susceptibility–which of a dozen Rx and natural antifungals are effective against the Y/F strains found.
These tests run $300-400 and also can tell you if you have leaky gut and a likely systemic problem.
The stool test can also indicate a leaky gut problem by identifying antibodies created to specific foods. If you have leaky gut, it’s likely you have both local Y/FO and systemic Y/FO.How should Y/FO be treated?
Rebalancing Y/FO is not easy, particularly in the cases where we are still in treatment and introducing the triggers for it but achieving balance can be done.
It’s best to hit the Y/FO hard and fast – if your overgrowth is severe you will want to introduce antifungals and probiotics slowly at first to help your body to manage the die off and detox the debris from the killing process without overwhelming your body. But then you’ll want to quickly titrate up to optimal doses. Die off symptoms can be very similar to the symptoms of Y/FO1) Diet is a must
– there are good “candida diets” available online – they all restrict sugars (including alcohol and it’s also best to eliminate fruits at first) and are a paleo-type menu. You don’t have to implement these restrictions forever but they are required until the Y/FO is back in balance.2) Probiotics are a must
—these should be fresh, multi-strained brands that include strains of Saccharomyces boulardii and lactobacilli and as many others as possible. Again, start slowly but work your way up to 400 billion per day. If you have a severe overgrowth, take more. My gastroenterologist suggested that most people can tolerate high quantities of probiotics (he had one patient taking over 900 billion/day). 3) Antifungal is a must
—for existing Y/FO, you need to implement a pharmaceutical-grade antifungal—and since these require a prescript
ion it’s really the only component of your Y/FO protocol that needs to rely on licensed professionals. There are many natural antifungals that work great for prevention and maintenance but it’s difficult to knock back an already existing overgrowth with them and you run the risk of not knocking down the overgrowth fast enough and/or creating resistance to the antifungals. PURE Nystatin powder 500,000 units
– I highly recommend the pure powder over any other manufactured form of Nystatin (the pills, capsules and especially the liquid are filled with many fillers and sometimes even sugar)*. Most MDs aren’t familiar with the pure powder and will try to prescribe the other lesser forms but press for the pure powder. MDs don’t know about
it mainly because they are educated about
available drugs by representatives of pharmaceutical companies sent to their offices with samples and education pamphlets and since there is no big pharma money in the powder it’s not well known.
- Nystatin powder is naturally derived from the earth—it’s a form of mold and was discovered during WWII out on the battle field to help treat foot rot, which was so prevalent. It is VERY safe and it generally doesn’t cross the mucosal lining of your gut.
- In addition to being pure, the powder allows you to coat the inside of your mouth and throat with it—killing yeast on contact. It’s also suggested that the powder can coat your entire alimentary canal, including your intestines—no “pill” can do this.
- The following website offers good dosing information you can share with your MD/ND: www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Nystatin_-_how_to_take_it
*Typical manufactured Nystatin product ingredients:Nystatin (nystatin oral) Oral Suspension
, for oral administration, is cherry/mint flavored, containing 100,000 USP Nystatin (nystatin oral) Units per mL. Inactive ingredients: alcohol ( ≤ 1% v/v), 49.8% (w/v) sucrose, purified water, glycerin, sodium citrate, magnesium aluminum silicate, flavors, saccharin sodium, xanthan gum, benzaldehyde, edetate calcium disodium, meth-ylparaben and propylparaben.NILSTAT Tablets
Each tablet or capsule contains 500,000 Units of nystatin and also contain the following inactive ingredients:
Lactose, Ethylcellulose, Magnesium stearate, Sodium starch glycollate, Carnauba wax, Purified water, Opadry yellow OY-2144A.The colouring agent in NILSTAT Tablets is Opadry yellow OY-2144A. It contains: Hypromellose, Titanium dioxide, Macrogol 400, Iron oxide yellow CI 77492. NILSTAT does not contain gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes."NILSTAT Capsules
also contain the following inactive ingredients: Lactose, Magnesium stearate, Gelatin, Iron Oxide yellow CI 77492, Titanium dioxide, Shellac, Isopropyl alcohol. The ink printing on the capsule contains carbon black CI 77266 and ethanol.4) Binders are a must
—I have found increased efficacy in reducing symptoms and Y/FO by using daily binders to help flush toxins, Y/F and debris from die off. A couple of OTC products are available that are inexpensive and useful (activated charcoal which comes in capsules and bentonite clay that comes in a thick liquid).
However, I highly recommend PURE cholestyramine (over the lesser cholestyramine products like Welchol or Questran which are manufactured versions of the raw cholestyramine and contains unnecessary and sometimes obstructive fillers and sugars or sugar substitutes and very little quantity of the cholestyramine, in fact, you probably have to take so much of the manufactured version to get the full benefit you’re getting too much of the fillers and sugars and might as well use the other OTC binders.)
- PURE cholestyramine is just that—the raw ingredient and nothing else (although you can also get it with stevia for improved taste).
- Cholestyramine is generally known as a bile sequestrant—it prevents bile from being produced and increases the removal of bile acids from the body (this is the binding function we’re interested in) and it is also known to lower cholesterol.
- The pure form can be expensive (appx $180 for 60-day supply) but it has proven to be THE most impactful component of my protocol: it is an amazing detoxer; it has improved my digestion and regulated and normalized my bowel activity for the first time in my life in quality and frequency (no more diarrhea/constipation); and it is also currently allowing me to take a break from antifungals and maintaining Y/F balance all on its own.
- My optimal dose is 6 grams at night but it took awhile to work up to it.
ions can be filled by a compounding pharmacist (search online if a local pharmacist doesn’t offer it). Quote from Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member “Razzle”:
“Molybdenum supplements can help reduce the severity of the die-off from yeast/candida. The toxin emitted by the dying yeast is processed by a molybdenum-containing enzyme. So die-off from a yeast infection can deplete molybdenum pretty fast, leading to that "hangover" sensation.”5) Liver support with systemic antifungals is a must
—if you are taking a systemic antifungal (most all antifungal Rx except Nystatin and the PURE Nystatin are systemic antifungals – Diflucan, Ketoconazole, Itraconazole) and therefore pass through the mucosal barrier of the gut and enter the blood stream, where it is taken throughout the body to kill the Y/F. The drug also gets flushed through the lymph system and the liver, where it is not easily metabolized and can cause a rise in your liver enzymes.
It’s best to incorporate liver support like milk thistle seed and/or burdock root to protect the liver as you start your antifungal Rx (although these are excellent detox support tinctures to also support lyme & co detoxing). As shared by Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member "Traveler":
Anyone allergic to milk thistle family can try this alternative:Traditional Chinese Medicine liver detox
In the morning, 1/2 hour before any food, mix:
1 cup fresh squeezed citrus juice - can be orange or grapefruit .
A couple of good squeezes of lemon or lime juice.
1 - 2 cloves of fresh squeezed garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
A few drops of fresh squeezed ginger juice
Do 2 cycles of 7 - 10 days each, with a 3 day break in between the 2 cycles - OR until you see plenty of bile (dark green color) in your stools.6) Other detox protocols
like exercise and sweat that help oxygenate muscles and increase circulation help move toxins through your body, dry brushing that improves circulation through the lymph nodes, detox baths that use the body’s largest detox organ (our skin) to help detox, are also very, very helpful in addressing Y/FO and reducing die off symptoms.
It’s good to switch to organic or all-natural products (facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo/conditioner, body soap, tampons, laundry detergent/dryer sheets)Can you detox Y/FO too quickly?
YES! Particularly if your overgrowth has gone untreated for a long time or you have a significant systemic problem. Y/F also react to heat so you can overheat simply by being out on a hot day too long, with exercise, a shower or bath that is too warm, sauna, hot tub, etc. Generating heat within the body is a good way to induce die off but too much of it at once can overwhelm your body’s ability to detox the dead yeast and the mycotoxins it produces while its alive that have built up in the body and what it produces during die off.
- Die off can happen immediately with antifungals or heat-induced treatment.
- Always start any detox protocol slowly and steadily—introducing one component of the protocol at a time in small “doses”.
- Some herxing is to be expected when you’re killing off any microbe in your body—particularly for those of us who have roadblocks with our detoxing/methylation processes (which is also one reason why some people who are infected with lyme are able to maintain dominance over it and some of us aren’t).
- Maintain that level until symptoms subside and then “titrate” up toward the optimal dose.
- If an unmanageable amount of herxing occurs, either maintain at that level until it subsides or step back.
- Since the Y/FO and the die off from treatment and detoxing can produce many similar symptoms to the lyme & co infections and treatment, this is one of several reasons it is important to nip the Y/FO in the bud before starting intense lyme & co treatment—your immune system will be less burdened to be able to support the lyme & co treatment and you won’t have as many overlapping symptoms to try to wade through.What are good detox protocols?
Making sure you use a binder is probably the most important for your detox protocol. There are already good detox protocols discussed in the “New to Lyme?” thread—many of the are as effective for managing Y/FO die off.Oil pulling
is good for thrush and tooth/jaw/sinus pain due to bacteria or Y/FO. There are many recipes and protocols online but what I've found to work the best is:
- Take 1 Tablespoon of unrefined, unprocessed, virgin, organic sesame oil and swish it around your mouth after you've brushed and flossed (coconut, sunflower and safflower oils can also be used but make sure they are unrefined, unprocessed, virgin, organic and N-GMO).
- Add tea tree oil, oregano oil or any other antimicrobial essential oil.
- Swish at least 15 minutes and until it turns into a milky white substance (sometimes this takes as long as 30 minutes) and then spit it out (a water bottle container, plastic baggie—not down the drain or the oils will clog the drain).
- The more you do this, the quicker the oil turns to milky white so it takes awhile at first.
- After swishing, use a tongue scraper on your tongue—be thorough.
- Then rise out your mouth with sea salt water.
- Do this in the AM and PM after brushing.
- *The oil draws out bacteria from your teeth/gums/tongue/oral tissues. I’ve found it leaves my teeth feeling like they’ve been professionally cleaned.How does Y/FO fit into lyme & coinfections and treatment?
Y/FO can be a pre-existing issue for people before they’re infected with lyme & co, it can develop due to gut dysbiosis as a symptom of the vector-born infections or it can be a product of the antibiotic treatment. I strongly encourage holding off lyme & co treatment until viral loads and/or a Y/FO is under control.
The Y/FO in particular can severely compromise the gut and therefore compromise immune function. No antibiotic or herbal protocol can heal us from lyme & co on their own—we need our immune systems to be functioning and part of the solution. Healing from Y/FO can help heal the gut so that the immune function is optimal and can also lessen the burden on the immune system so that it can focus on lyme & co.Is treating Y/FO the same as treating mold issues?
NO—they can sometimes occur at the same time but they are caused by different pathogens and must be treated differently. And both should be effectively under control before implementing lyme & co treatment. I’ve found that Dr. Shoemaker has good info on his survivingmold.com
mold, which can help you determine if you have an issue and if you should talk with your MD/ND about
getting tested.Will everyone on abx develop Y/FO?
My theory I have for why some people are more afflicted or vulnerable because you do seem to be keeping things in control w/ probiotics and diet:
I found out through DNA mutation testing that I was born w/ low levels of good bacteria in my gut. NO WONDER I have always had GI issues. I had signs of y/f overgrowth my entire life and they weren't always consistent. It's clear that gut flora ecology impacts one's ability to process food/nutrients effectively and I've been reading more and more that poor gut flora also throws off your hormone production. There are people who clearly have superior flora and immune systems that function a little more autonomously. Balance may change as you continue w/ lyme & co treatment as it doesn't take much to tip the scales and y/f grows exponentially if not controlled so it happens fast. Are there environmental factors that need to be addressed?
YES! Often we can successfully treat our bodies but continue to get “re-infected” or become imbalanced due to environmental factors.
- When I nixed my overgrowth I also replaced both of my pillows and washed all my bed and bath linens and clothes in hot water with borax and also dried with high heat.
- I read online of a woman who had a fungal infection that was rooted in a demodex problem (see end of post) who had to follow lice treatment protocols in order to get rid of the demodex.
- You might need to address problems in sexual partners as sometimes men can pass Y/F to you without being symptomatic (although I have read in medical statements that it isn’t communicable, I know of couples who proved it was and continued to have problems until the male was successfully treated along with the female).Quote from Healingwell.com Lyme Disease forum member “Georgia Hunter”:
“The first thing I noticed upon doing peripheral blood smears is that I saw yeast in my blood. Try as I might, they remained there despite my treatment efforts. Only when I had my entire AC unit and duct work replaced did I no longer have yeast in my smears. One of my ducts wasn't large enough and water was condensing inside the duct. It was a breeding ground for fungus. Within a week of getting the new AC unit, I found no yeast in my smears.” How long do I need to be in “treatment mode” for Y/FO?
If your Y/FO is significant, it’s likely that it is going to take a minimum of a month on a strict protocol to knock down the bulk of the overgrowth unless you’re on a high quantity of abx and it will take longer. And very likely a few more months after that to heal damage and transition into a “maintenance mode”. Unfortunately, I’ve read that once you’ve experienced significant overgrowth it’s more likely to reoccur so while you’re in treatment, you must remain diligent (no sugar/simple carbs, continued probiotic, antifungal treatments and optimal detoxing.)
Once you are about
a month past any symptoms, you can step down your antifungal Rx—all other components should remain in your protocol to ensure protection from future overgrowth. Only when you’re sure no symptoms have resurfaced should you transition to a “prevention/maintenance” protocol. If at any point you start to exhibit familiar or new Y/FO symptoms, you need to return to the antifungal Rx—it’s going to be risky to try natural antifungals due to how quickly Y/F can proliferate and how easily they can grow resistance to natural antifungals. If at any point the atifungal Rx doesn’t seem to be working well, try a different one.What is good for a “prevention or Y/FO-free maintenance” protocol?
Existing Y/FO requires an antifungal Rx. There are many natural antifungals that work great for prevention and maintenance but it’s difficult to knock back an already existing overgrowth with them and you run the risk of creating resistance to them. When you’re ready to incorporate natural antifungals, choose only two at a time and rotate them out every couple of weeks—Y/F can easily grow resistance and you want to make sure you have an effective antifungal protocol.
There are also “anti-candida/fungal” products you can buy that have a combination of antifungal ingredients—the individual ingredients may or may not be effective against your strain, which is why the product includes numerous ingredients, but using it makes it difficult to rotate antifungals and you run the risk of the Y/F developing a resistance to all of the products. Natural antifungals are best used alone and rotated after a couple of weeks:
- Bragg's Mother apple cider vinegar
- Alkaline foods and drinks
- virgin coconut oil
- bitters herbs/tinctures
- raw garlic,
- Caprylic acid
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Olive leaf extract
- Pau d’arco
- xylitol (titrate slowly--high doses cause cramping/gas/diarrhea)
An airtight defense protocol would be to combine natural antifungals and include the Pure Nystatin powder. You can keep your doses low and easy or pulse for the duration of your treatment. As an even more complex but efficient preventative measure, if you rotate a couple of antivirals, you'll be even more secure:
1 wk Nystatin,
1 wk virgin unrefined coconut oil (2 tablepoons/day),
1 wk grapefruit seed extract, or olive leaf extract, or pau d’arco
1 wk extra garlic in food or garlic supplements[/list]What is a compounding pharmacist?
Compounding pharmacists are to conventional pharmacists —what NDs are to MDs. Although they are licensed the same, compounding pharmacists often specialize in a specific function requiring additional training. They compound their own concoctions and are known for providing consultations that go beyond what a conventional pharmacist provides. I've also found them to be cheaper and so much more pleasant and to deal with and I get more personal attention. The big chain pharmacies have generally run off ALL of the small privately-owned pharmacists.
Of course, this might cost extra—some insurance companies don’t cover all medications. Many compounding pharmacists can be found online and most ship (some even ship for free). There are some states that won’t allow medications to be shipped out of state so check with your state’s regulations.Here is my personal Y/FO story:
I knew nothing about
yeast/fungal overgrowth until this time last year. I was having a terrible time dealing with chronic sinusitis and bronchitis throughout 2013. I was in/out of ER, Urgent Care at least 8-9 times and each visit resulted in an Rx for abx and steroids. The steroids helped me breathe (I had some scary moments of suffocation with the bronchitis) but of course the infection would get much worse and I continued to get much sicker.
One HUGE clue that what I had was a fungal infection not a bacterial infection was that I never ran a fever despite buckets draining from my sinuses, coughing so violently I can't hold my urine, my eyeballs would hurt and I would generate a headache, and feeling like I literally was not able to breathe.
I now know that a couple of things were happening: since the infections were not bacterial the abx were exacerbating the yeast/fungal overgrowth in my GI (I had no idea at the time I should have been on probiotics with the abx—none of these MDs even mentioned it); and the steroids were reducing my immune function, which also fueled the fire.
The Y/F was so prolific in my GI tract that it was penetrating the mucosal lining of my intestines and this damage was allowing the Y/F, toxins food particles and fecal matter into the bloodstream. This is known as “leaky gut”, which not only helped the local Y/FO travel throughout my body in the blood stream and created systemic overgrowth but my immune system also became reactive to the food particles it found in the blood stream and I started developing sensitivities and allergies to everything I ate.
The yeast/fungus was also creeping up my esophagus and growing into my sinuses, and into my chest/lungs developing into bronchitis. This is pretty scary in retrospect—and no MDs thought to culture the infection.
I finally got sick of the run-around and was also quite frightened when I read about
the dangers of a sinus infection that isn’t addressed that can get into the brain. I started suspecting a fungal issue (one clue was that I never had fevers with these infections) and I got ahold of a local and systemic antifungal. The first dose brought relief and most of my symptoms were gone within a few days. However, my journey had just begun.
Many of the antibiotics I had taken were also the same that are used in the treatment of lyme & coinfections. And since the steroids had lowered my immune function, the lyme & co I didn’t realize I had started to gain way and I started herxing to the antibiotics with very specific lyme & co symptoms. I started searching these strange symptoms online and “lyme disease” kept popping up.
So, in August 2013, I got myself to an LLMD, tested “CDC-positive for lyme”, tested positive for bart but not babesia (although at the time babesia was producing my most dominant syptoms). I also had high titers for about
4 different viruses. My LLMD got my viral load down, we started healing my gut from the Y/FO and months later I was ready to start lyme & co treatment.
I still continued to have intermittent sinus pain, tickling/twinges in my nose (which was the Y/F or biofilm growing), eye problems, ear aches, and other symptoms---not at all problematic but enough to indicate that the Y/FO was not always suppressed. Only when I introduced cholestyramine did all of these symptoms disappear for good. I experimented recently by stopping antifungals and probiotics (while still on abx) and the Y/F symptoms remain at bay…
I have compiled this information from a few years of research and investigation searching through the internet combined with my own personal experiences. Most of the information I’ve found has been great as a means to establish a foundation of knowledge but it’s often necessary to craft recommendations for those of us treating lyme & coinfections more specifically.
- Healingwell.com Moderator, “pirouette”
Post Edited (Pirouette) : 6/4/2016 12:51:53 PM (GMT-6)